As a adolescent growing up in Panama, mural artisan Fernando Wong says he aboriginal apparent his aesthetic affection at age five, watching his mother draw sketches for him while they sat in church.
“I was restless, so she drew some stars and chickens for me,” recalls Wong, architect of Fernando Wong Alfresco Active Design, a acclaimed Miami-based close he launched in 2005 with his accomplice Tim Johnson. “The chickens were the ones that captivated me—I’ve lived through my acuteness anytime since.”
A agnate artistic spirit pervades the six episodes of HGTV’s Clipped (now alive on Discovery Plus), area seven aggressive topiary artists from beyond the country abbreviate their way to crafting larger-than-life active sculptures, depicting astronomic animals or a active allowance with anatomic “furniture” fabricated absolutely of plants. The ambition is to get the show’s judges, Wong, Martha Stewart, and Chris Lambton, to accolade them the $50,000 prize.
By definition, a topiary is any bulb cut into a absurd shape. And while the appearance demonstrates some of the best complicated topiaries imaginable, Wong explains that there are abounding types of plants that can be acclimated for topiaries. “I anticipate we acclimated at atomic a bisected dozen altered breed while filming Clipped, but there are abounding added types of shrubs, bushes, and herbs that will assignment well,” he says. Included in this list: yew bushes, arborvitae, boxwood, dwarf Alberta spruce, rosemary, germander herbs, podocarpus, Japanese holly, lavender, privet, and blooming laurel.
Whichever of these breed you accept to add to your garden, you ability appetite to try your duke at conical or geometric shapes afore attempting a brier daybed or a grizzly buck fabricated from a bush. Wong stresses that creating all-embracing pieces like the ones in the appearance is acutely physically taxing. “They formed so hard,” he says of the contestants, who would activate by abstraction their account on cardboard afore active them in 3D. “That was the ‘wow’ agency for me because anniversary artisan had to accept thickness, scale, and proportion. That was amazing,” Wong says.
For an easier way to accompany topiary into your life, Wong suggests purchasing a small, already-shaped one and announcement it indoors. “I accept a topiary absolutely enhances your autogenous space,” he says. “It’s blithesome to see a acceptable topiary amount in the window or as a centerpiece on your dining allowance table.” (Wong’s favorite abode to boutique for plants is at Atlock Farm in New Jersey, which happens to be endemic by one of Stewart’s friends.)
If you absolutely appetite to try abstraction a topiary yourself, accede an calm bonsai tree. “You can dispense the
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